Saturday, January 30, 2021

Coherent Horsemanship: Combining the Quantum and the Classical by Adrienne N. Neary

 


New! eBook
Recommended Reading

Certified Reiki practitioner and classical dressage trainer Adrienne Neary is pleased to announce the release of her e-book Coherent Horsemanship. This practical hands-on guide brings art and science together to teach readers how to communicate with confidence in all things Equus related.
 
Neary’s narrative challenges the rider to think differently about how they experience interactions with their horse. Through simple exercises horse owners from all riding disciplines are encouraged to discover and develop their own inherent abilities; to engage with their horses utilizing energy scan techniques, to realize their own potential and aptness, and to tune into a harmonious frequency with their horse. 
 
This thought provoking, intelligently written book delves into the science of quantum physics in an approachable manner. It cleverly combines time-tested Reiki style energy practices to access the horse’s mind like never before with time-tested classical dressage training basics, to successfully engage both horse and rider on another level.
 
Universai, quantum physics, paradigms, polyvagal theory, chi and chakras are discussed in this accessible text that carries the rider through theory to practical. Neary’s certification as a Reiki Practitioner, having learned directly from the esteemed Dr. John Harvey Gray in the USUI Tradition, provides expert guidance for the reader in the importance of mindfulness and energy awareness. 
 
The book additionally encompasses the A,B,C’s of building blocks for the basic training of any horse, with flat-work exercises in the saddle based on Neary’s extensive experience in dressage classicism through her training with the renowned Dr. H.L.M. van Schaik, thus furnishing the reader with a ‘masterplan’ for training where the trainer is indeed, not the master.
 
Neary explains her philosophy on training horses using Coherent Horsemanship:
 
“We need to fill an important gap and need to be a dependable, empathetic partner. We need to be steadfast, consistent, wise, accurate and grounded. Horses are much more likely to accept and ‘believe’ in our friendship and leadership, if we embody these aspects both internally and externally. 
 
Coherence is an exceptionally efficient physiological state. The nervous, cardiovascular, hormonal and immune systems, all work harmoniously. It is the highest level of function for our bodies, and can be thought of as an optimal performance level. Accessed primarily through conscious breathing, coherence allows your heart the freedom to function without the influence of defense mechanisms. It is a state characterized by ‘least effort and maximum benefit.”
 
Neary’s talent to access horse and rider through smart science and tested traditions make this title unique. Many horse owners have experienced those sometimes elusive and transitory moments of complete harmony and connection with their horses. This book facilitates a better understanding as to how and why those moments occur, how to better access them, and how to transcend to a permanent new level of coherence in their horse/human relationship.
 
“I wrote Coherent Horsemanship in an attempt to provide a voice for many, many horses, and many, many people. Like many others, I thought my destiny would unfold in the competitive arena of Dressage. It just didn’t turn out that way. My horses seemed to conspire with my students, steering me into uncharted territory; challenging me to help in ways I was mostly unprepared for. They constantly informed me with their vast, invaluable and unspoken experiences. For many years, I delved into the ubiquitous harm/stress/behavior paradigm and came to a new understanding of pain’s purpose. It led me into an entirely new practice and instruction platform. I truly believe that we can collectively improve countless lives from now on. In the spirit the Horse and Human Masters who taught me, I felt it the best honor I can bestow,” states Neary.

Connect with Adrienne:
Download the eBook Here
 
About Beech Tree Arts: Beech Tree Arts supports horse people with empowering horse products and specializes in artistically educating horse people with products such as insightful horse books, beautifully designed equine anatomy charts, and thoughtful blog entries. Coherent Horsemanship can be purchased directly from https://beechtreearts.com/ 


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

New! Bandit Finds a Home by J.A. Hall

 


Children's literature author J.A. Hall was born and raised in Athens County, Ohio. She has a PhD in Communication Studies from Ohio University. She is the owner of Little Meadow Farm, which is a private sanctuary that gives animals of all shapes and sizes forever homes.
 
Releasing her first children’s book Bandit Finds a Home (Monday Creek Publishing 2020), Hall finds time to talk about her love of animals, writing, and her advice for new writers…

Welcome, J.A.!

GM: What is the premise for your new children's book Bandit Finds a Home?
JAH: The premise of my book is to have an adorable little puppy named Bandit bring young readers out to our farm to see what all the animals are up to. 

GM: How do you maintain thoughts and ideas?
JAH: I am fortunate to live on a farm with many different and delightful animals. Each of these animals have their own personalities and quirkiness. It is the everyday antics of these animals that provides me with the stories that I like to share in my books. 
 
GM: What are you currently writing?
JAH: I am currently working on the second book in the Bandit series. In the second book Ruby introduces Bandit to the other dogs who live on the farm. There is the older, wiser Chip who likes to chase the tractor in the hayfield. There is the tiny, cautious Willow who likes to lay by the piano when grandmother gets a notion to play. There is the bold and curious Roxy who meets every visitor with a bark and waggy tail. Lastly, there is Diamond who tags along for rides in the Polaris Ranger when it comes time to feed the cows, horses, pigs, sheep, chickens, and other animals on the farm. 
 
GM: What are you currently reading?
JAH: I am currently enjoying Horse Hooves and Chicken Feet. This is a book on Mexican Folktales. It contains anthology of fifteen folktales that draw on the rich storytelling tradition of Mexico. This book is edited by Neil Philip and illustrated by Jacqueline Mair.
 
GM: Do you have advice for novice writers and those seeking to find a place in the book market?
JAH: Know your craft. Read other authors' work. Find your own voice and do not get discouraged. 
 
GM: Tell us about your farm and the characters in your book...
JAH: The farm has been in my family for 93 years. The farm consists of 100-acres that has both pasture and woodlands. When the farm was given to me, I continued farming, but I began rescuing animals in need. Today we have many rescued animals living on the farm. 
 
The leading character in my book is Bandit. Bandit is a smart and clever puppy that comes to live on a special farm with Netty and her family. On arriving at the farm Bandit is met by a lady dog named Ruby. Ruby decides to take Bandit under her wing to teach him all about the farm. There are lots of animals to meet and greet and Bandit cannot wait to grow bigger and start his adventures. 
 
Connect with J.A….
Little Meadow Farm on Facebook

Bandit Finds a Home on Amazon
by J.A. Hall
Illustrated by Karine Makartichan 

Come along with me and follow the adventures of Bandit, a speckled little puppy from the big city. Hold your breath as Bandit tumbles out of Uncle Bill's truck and is almost eaten by a coyote! Be there when Bandit arrives at Little Meadow Farm, his forever home. Meet the old farm dog, Ruby, who teaches Bandit the ways of a country dog. Enjoy the adventure in this first book in a series that will follow Bandit as he grows and learns from many endearing characters.

 







Monday, January 25, 2021

Milliron Monday: In Memory - Apricot Spice 1 25 2021

Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010

Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography
 (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

The foothills of the Appalachian Mountains roll through southeastern Ohio and West Virginia. A beautiful scene, we experience a breathtaking panorama of seasons. In winter, snow can fall quickly, creating a landscape of serendipitous drifts of surreal white. 

If you have barn animals and outdoor pets, it's the time of year for heated water tanks, plentiful haymows, and insulated clothes. The winter can be tough on older animals; dry air, bitter cold, and aching joints.

It is a sad day when I receive a message from someone who has lost a beloved animal. Last Saturday (January 23rd) I received a text from Beverly in West Virginia. I had talked with Beverly last November about her Tennessee Walking Horse mare, Apricot Spice. Spice was the topic of Milliron Monday, including a photo and story about Dr. Smith (read the story here). 

Beverly writes, "Gina, I wanted to let you know I buried Spice yesterday. We found her in her stall already gone. No signs of struggle. I think her old heart just gave out. She would have been 29 years on May 12th. She had a long happy life here on the farm just doing her thing all day. I was lucky she was in my life."

Dearest Beverly, we send sincere condolences on the loss of Spice. She did, indeed, live a good life. Now she plays in a heavenly meadow. Thank you, Beverly, for sharing your story. Sending love and hugs.

In memory of Spice...

Courage © ginamcknight 2013

A hard courageous winter

drifts complacent snow
the old mare braces for more

She dapples, then greys
pawing frozen terrain
she’s stoic, proud
lifts a final brow

Sidestepping frozen thickets
non-garish in ruminations
bewitching casual forests
beseeching her master’s hand

She’s fading now
a bittersweet time
silent, still, dreamy somehow
her master she’ll miss, molasses and kiss

Her memories remain
she was fashioned to serve
created for adoration
baubled, adorned

She sees it now
through wide-open gate
it’s waiting for her
the celestial shore

© ginamcknight 2013





Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Milliron Monday: University Research Benefits Society 1 18 2021


 
"Dr. Smith's standing as one of the country's leading equine surgeons was a major factor in attracting the NIH funds."

Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010

Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography
 (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

From the 1976 Spring issue of the Ohio University Alumni Journal, Dr. Smith and Dr. Wagner are featured for their work in medical research...

University Research Benefits Society

    Some people say that important medical research is best done in big city universities and research centers.
    Ohio University associate professor of chemistry Thomas Wagner, a former researcher at the Sloan-Kettering Institute, refutes this, saying that in some cases, the rural setting is better, particularly when the research is being done initially on large animals.
    To prove it, Wagner and a collaborator, local veterinarian Abbott P. Smith, successfully sought a grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) - at a time when medical grant money was scarce - and are now engaged in research which could lead to more knowledge of human birth defects.
    Dr. Smith's standing as a leader in the development of equine surgical techniques and practices was a major factor in attracting the NIH funds, Wagner said. Equally impressive to the NIH team that did an on-site visit was Smith's well-equipped veterinarian clinic which contains certain pieces of equipment that even some veterinary colleges don't have.
    Together the men are studying the initial events in fertilization. Horses are being used in the research because of their large size. The researchers contend that if they can determine exactly what happens when sperm meets ovum, they might also be able to tell something about irregular fertilization and the causes of birth defects.
    Wagner points to a number of advantages of the rural setting for such medical study. A major one is the relative ease of maintaining herds of large test animals in an agricultural area as opposed to a city. He cited the example of one major urban university medical center which has to hire a sheepherder to transport a flock of eight sheep by elevator each day from ground floor stalls.
    The cost of maintaining the animals is also less in rural Southeastern Ohio because grazing land is plentiful and grain can be raised right here rather than shipped in.
    Most important to this particular project, Wagner said, is the availability of a private practicing vet with the skill to handle the surgery part of the research. Such a collaboration is unique in the country because usually a scientist is teamed up with a medical doctor for medical research.
    Wagner says a veterinarian is actually preferable since MDs only know about one species - humans - and yet are required to conduct their research on animals. "Veterinarians are really more qualified to do such research and probably are more sensitive to their best subjects," he said.
    The actual research involves Wagner examining the detailed molecular changes in the chromosomal material of the male sperm cell during and after fertilization, which he simulates in a chemical environment. In the meantime Smith is perfecting a surgical technique so that a just-fertilized egg can quickly and easily be removed from a horse and examined microscopically.
    Wagner said both researchers share an interest in the basic sciences, and that with this project comes the opportunity to take a whole animal down to the molecular level to see how it reproduces.

Dr. Wagner steadies a horse while Dr. Smith gives it an injection in preparation for a surgical procedure as part of a cooperative research project. "Never a day goes by that some interesting quirk in our research doesn't pop up. We also have the possibility of being in on the ground floor of what may be something very big. And there's bound to be other kinds of fallout from any research project," Smith said. Wagner added that both of them share an interest in the basic sciences and that with this project comes the opportunity to take a whole animal down to the molecular level to see how it reproduces.


    The result of their study, which is funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), may aid in the understanding of the causes of birth defects which occur in early pregnancy in humans.
    Wagner's part of the project involves examining the detailed molecular changes in the chromosomal material of the male sperm cell during and after fertilization which he simulates in a chemical environment in his laboratory.
    In the meantime, Smith is perfecting a surgical technique so that a just-fertilized egg can quickly be removed from a horse and examined microscopically to see how it compares to the simulation.
    Dr. Smith's standing as one of the country's leading equine surgeons was a major factor in attracting the NIH funds, according to Wagner. Equally impressive to the NIH team that did an on-site visit of the lab and the clinic was Smith's well-equipped facility which has some equipment lacking in veterinarian colleges.
    Commenting on the unique collaboration between vet and professor, Wagner noted that the arrangement has some advantages not usually present in a medical doctor-scientist investigation. While an MD is familiar with only one species - humans - a veterinarian is qualified to work with test animals.
    And while some people think of important medical research as happening at "big city universities," Wagner pointed out the advantage of Ohio University's rural setting which is ideal for the raising and maintaining of large numbers of experimental animals.


 
Enjoy the week ahead!


Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Milliron Monday: Poke & Dot 1 11 2021


Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010

Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

What do you do when you have two lovely pigs, but need winter hay for your horses? Kelly, a fine artist and former client/friend of Dr. Smith, writes her story...



Thanks Kelly for a great story! 
Learn more about Kelly - Here
Learn more about Fernwood Farm - Here
Read Million Monday: Trail Ride - Here

Have a great week ahead!


Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Riding with Joy: An Interview with Joy Miller-Upton

On my current Quarter horse, Libby, on the way to the voting polls in 2020. 
I have ridden my horse to vote most years since 1972. Libby came to me
 from a rescue group in Athens in 2016, two weeks after I had surgery
 for uterine cancer. She had been rescued from an auction where most
 horses are bought for slaughter.
Photo by Donald F. Wallbaum 


Riding with Joy: An Interview with Joy Miller-Upton
by Gina McKnight
Archived from the December 2020 Issue of Florida Equine Athlete
No duplication without permission.
 
“That is one of the amazing and fun things about associating with these wonderful creatures. They teach us lessons we can never learn in school.”
 
Living in southeastern Ohio, I am surrounded by thousands of horse-lovers. Ohio is, after all, the home of the American Quarter Horse Congress, one of the largest one-breed horse shows in the world. Running into equestrians is a daily event for me. One of my favorite equestrians is Joy Miller-Upton. I met Joy several years ago through a mutual friend. Since, we enjoy sharing horse stories and collaborating on horse-related literature. I caught up with Joy and asked about her horse history, trail riding, and much more…
 
Welcome, Joy!
 
GM:  Joy, it’s great to connect and share your horse adventures! I know you have a vast horse history, but we have never talked about your first horse. When was your first encounter with a horse?
JMU: Actually two first encounters stand out in my mind. One was when my aunt and uncle took me to their farm in Hocking County (Ohio) where I live now and set me up on the back of a huge dark Draft horse in a very dark barn. The second, when I was probably five, was with a burro my dad borrowed to use as a prop for his costume in the Calico Days parade when we lived in the Mojave Desert in a tiny town called Yermo. That was in the 1940s. I would go out to where we had the burro tied to a tree in our yard and crawl up on his furry back and pretend I was galloping across the desert. Since my first two experiences were on the bare back of an equine I must’ve thought that was how you rode them, because when I got my first horse when I was 12 that was the only way I ever rode, bareback. The saddle that came with my first horse was a 1918 McClellan’s saddle and it was so weird and so uncomfortable I only ever used it once. But I wish I had it now!
 
GM: You are a seasoned rider with lots of trail miles. Tell us about your ride along the Underground Railroad…
JMU: A friend and I decided to try to trace a route across Ohio, beginning at the Ohio River and headed toward Canada, and ride it on horseback, that would approximately follow routes used by freedom seekers escaping the south. To prepare for the 550 mile ride, we did practice rides in 1998 and 1999, riding for a week each year.
 
The first year we started our ride at a historic black church in a small area in Lawrence County (Ohio) called Poke Patch. The church members helped us get started and allowed us to use their church grounds to camp the first two nights. We literally camped amongst tombstones in the cemetery while our three horses were tied nearby in the woods. That year we were riding on tiny back roads winding our way through an area now almost totally owned by the Wayne National Forest. That was ideal because we could camp almost anywhere.
 
It was August and very hot and dry. We counted on local people to assist us, just as freedom seekers would have been helped as they made their way out of slavery. One night we found ourselves in a dry camp with no water for the horses. Using an old type cell phone, standing on a very high hill, we were able to reach one of the church members and ask for help. Within an hour a truck pulled up with a large tank of water for us and our horses.
 
The second year we were assisted by a black historian, Henry Burke, and we rode in Washington County. Henry helped us define routes that we would ride between safe stations that had actually been used for underground railroad activity in the 1800s. That year I rode alone with my Chincoteague pony, Jaca, and her daughter a “ChincoFino,” Pearl, as my friend had broken her ribs during a training ride. She assisted by driving her truck loaded with hay and water for the horses.
 
As I rode the back roads, I met many helpful people, like the family who invited us to sleep in their tiny backyard. They had many children but we were willing to share whatever they had, including a toilet that you had to flush by pouring a bucket of water in it. 
 
Throughout that ride, Pearl was a challenge as usual, showing great displeasure at having to share a field next to sheep one night and prancing backward through an entire field another day because there were cattle in a nearby field.
 
GM: A great story, I understand you will be launching a book in 2021 about your journey. For such a journey, what type of horses are needed? Do you prefer one breed over another for long distance riding?
JMU: My book is actually about six horse journeys. The first one I rode in 1973 was for 30 days. I rode my big Appaloosa, Jubilee, and my packhorse was a Quarter horse, Tony. They were perfect because I had ridden them on other long trail rides, some overnight, and they were very physically fit. They had also been around all sorts of traffic and other distractions.
 
For a long distance ride the breed of horse may not be as important as the horse’s conditioning. Still, a lazy horse would drive you crazy on a long distance ride. For the underground railroad rides I had considered using a Quarter horse I had at the time, but he was extremely lazy and I would’ve worn myself out riding him. Pearl, being half Paso, had lots of energy. Her mother, the Chincoteague pony, was also very energetic. For any horse being taken on a long distance ride they need to have that energy as well as being traffic safe.
 
GM: Wow! That sounds like an amazing journey. When trail riding, what’s in your saddlebag?
JMU: Water, snacks, an extra lead rope, a few first aid supplies for both horse and human, and maps. That’s for a day ride. If I’m riding for several days, there would be a lot more than that. The important thing is to pack for your horse‘s needs.
 
GM: Your horse wisdom and horse adventures are well-known throughout our area. Do you have advice for novice riders and those looking to purchase their first horse?
JMU: Find a knowledgeable person to help you. Try riding and also helping around the barn before you buy a horse so you have an idea what is involved in both work and the expenses. Buying a well-trained, older horse is the only way to go for a novice rider. Go to horse events, read, watch videos, and talk to other horse riders. Just sit and watch horses. I have been riding more than seven decades and I learn something new all the time, often from the horse herself. That is one of the amazing and fun things about associating with these wonderful creatures. They teach us lessons we can never learn in school.
 
GM: Every horse-lover likes the thrill of horses in the rodeo. What is your favorite equestrian event/discipline in and/or out of the arena?
JMU: Challenges that showcase the horse performing natural horse activities is a beautiful thing to see. When a human asks and a horse does that, whether mounted or from the ground, it is awesome. I love watching someone work with horses at liberty.
 
The closest I’ve come to that was as a child with my first horse. I think one reason kids and horses are such a good match is that kids don’t overthink things like I as an adult do. My first horse, Calico, and I had a job of leading our cow to a pasture each morning before school. I would ride my horse with just a halter on and to turn her I would reach up behind her ear and tug on the halter. Soon I realized all I had to do was touch her behind the ear and she would turn. Then I discovered if I thought about stopping to get off, she stopped. I began riding her around the neighborhood with no bridle, halter, or saddle. Once someone asked me if she neck-reined and I said no. I was a little ashamed that my horse hadn’t learned to do that, but what I now realize is that I never taught her to do that. But I did teach her to ride at liberty!
 
GM: Thanks, Joy, for sharing your horse stories. Congratulations on your success as a horsewoman and your new book coming out in 2021! Finally, I ask all the people I interview about horsemanship. What does horsemanship mean to you?
JMU: Horsemanship to me means that with every interaction, whether feeding the horse, grooming, teaching or riding, the horse always comes first. It means paying attention to what that individual equine needs and what he can and should do. It means developing a partnership and friendship in which both equine and human have an equal say. It means showing leadership and bravery to a species that is not always brave. It also means trusting the equine you’re with to make choices beneficial for both of you.
 
Connect with Joy…
Email jmillerupt@aol.com

Florida Equine Athlete
Available From Amazon
 
I still like an occasional bareback ride! Zoe is a sweet, 
14-year-old quarter horse mare, bought from an auction.
Photo by Donald F. Wallbaum 


 

Haydenville: A Small Town with a Big Story by Patty Carr Horn

  Larry Horn's new book "Haydenville" will be available July 31, 2021 at the Nelsonville Brick Fest. Haydenville: A Small Town...